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Summary: I. EXORDIUM: Do you enjoy answered prayers from GOD? II. AUDIENCE PROFILE: Believers III. OBJECTIVES: To show how to pray in the New Testament age of Grace. IV. TEXT: Ezra 8:23 (New Living Translation, Second Edition) So we fasted

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I. EXORDIUM:

Do you enjoy answered prayers from GOD?

II. AUDIENCE PROFILE:

Believers

III. OBJECTIVES:

To show how to pray in the New Testament age of Grace.

IV. TEXT:

Ezra 8:23 (New Living Translation, Second Edition)

So we fasted and earnestly prayed that our God would take care of us, and He heard our prayer.

V. THESIS:

Prayer is communing [praise,worship and thanksgiving] with GOD.

VI. TITLE:

GOD answered our prayers

VII. EXPLICATION:

A. Author: unknown. Ezra might have been the compiler

B. Date written: 450 B.C.

C. Purpose: To document GOD's faithfulness, keeping His promises, sovereignly protecting His People and returned them to their own land.

D. To whom written: Jerusalem's restored remnant and future generations.

E. Main theme: Return of the Jews from Babylonian captivity

F. Keywords: Word of GOD, Power of the Word of GOD in human life, Word of the LORD

G. Key verses:

Ezra 1:3 (New Living Translation, Second Edition)

Any of you who are his people may go to Jerusalem in Judah to rebuild this Temple of the Lord, the God of Israel, who lives in Jerusalem. And may your God be with you!

Ezra 7:10 (New Living Translation, Second Edition)

This was because Ezra had determined to study and obey the Law of the Lord and to teach those decrees and regulations to the people of Israel.

VIII. MAIN BODY:

A. We fasted

"So we fasted"

1. The word:"fasted" came from the Hebrew word:"tsum" meaning "to cover over (the mouth)", "to fast" and came from the Greek word:"nesteuo" meaning "to abstain from food". It's communing with GOD without the aid of food.

New testament fasting are as follows:

a. The Holy Spirit speaks in a time of fast and lead them to dedicate workers for the task.

Acts 13:2-3 (New Living Translation, Second Edition)

One day as these men were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Dedicate Barnabas and Saul for the special work to which I have called them.”

So after more fasting and prayer, the men laid their hands on them and sent them on their way.

b. It's a time of turning the elders/leaders to the care of the LORD.

Acts 14:23 (New Living Translation, Second Edition)

Paul and Barnabas also appointed elders in every church. With prayer and fasting, they turned the elders over to the care of the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.

c. A good apostle like Paul practices fasting.

2 Corinthians 6:5 (New Living Translation, Second Edition)

We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food.

In all of these events, leaders and workers are always present in the fast. Ezra in his time, instead of doing the natural that is "to ask the king for soldiers and horsemen to accompany us and protect us from enemies along the way" he did the supernatural way: prayer and fasting. We are spirit-beings not physical beings, spiritual ways work for us best rather than physical ways. Ezra would rather rely on GOD's Power to accompany and protect them instead of the human king's accompaniment and protection.


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